Yemenis condemns int'l silence towards Saudi aggression war crimes in Yemen: Report
SANAA, March 16 (Saba) -It is clear that the international community won’t do much to stop the Saudis from pounding Yemen.
Saudi Arabia has taken this tactic thanks to its long-term alliance with the United States, America’s long-term diplomatic tensions with Iran, and the friendship of the Trump administration in particular, it can rely not only on unlimited military sales from the U.S., but also U.S. intelligence and mid-flight refueling of its bombers by the U.S. Air Force.
Generally, Western nations present themselves in the international system as guardians of human rights, the U.S. and its European allies have even gone to war in the name of defending human rights, Libya being a recent example, they have imposed sanctions on several other countries for aggression, even President Vladimir Putin of Russia has not been spared after his annexation of Crimea from Ukraine two years ago, but no such moral outrage is seen in the case of Saudi Arabia.
So it’s clear that the international community won’t do much to stop the Saudis from pounding Yemen, no matter how hard the U.S. may talk about human rights, it won’t raise a finger against the Saudis, none other than U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon acknowledged earlier this year that he had taken off Saudi Arabia from a UN list of countries.
The ascendancy of the first leader from a new generation of princes in decades, Muhammad bin Salman, has amplified this trend, their lack of success in actually retaking territory from the Houthi forces after three years of fighting seems only to have increased the brutality of their violence toward the civilian population.
International Relations scholar May Darwich points out that the Yemen Civil War is the largest conflict in which the Saudi army has ever been involved, that involvement is not restricted just to bombing raids and naval maneuvers, but also to a sophisticated new political relations effort, the Saudi Ministry of Defense is now holding daily press conferences to shape the narrative of its role in the conflict, depicting itself as defending the legitimate Yemeni government and preventing the creeping spread of Iranian influence in yet another part of the world, but the connections between the Iran and the Houthi movement began in 2014 at the earliest and are too tenuous to represent a functional alliance.
Humanitarian aid agencies, which have been providing life-saving assistance to millions across Yemen, have underscored the urgency of talks, warning that the situation on the ground has deteriorated “dramatically” .
Mark Lowcock, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, returning from his latest mission to the war-torn country on 1 December described the situation as being on the “brink of a major catastrophe.”
The United Kingdom is not the only country playing juxtaposing roles in Yemen, the United States has consistently supplied arms and military canvasing services to Saudi forces in the country (although not authorized by congress).
International silence on the matter, the irony of this statement must not be lost on the global audience, for it is definitively the worst humanitarian crisis of the last ten years with 75% of the population requiring humanitarian aid and upwards of 2 million internally displaced persons (IDP).
The haltingly slow peace talk processes are barred by the technicalities of implementing civilian administration within the country and subsequent representation of the two groups, despite all this, the urgent need for a structured set of peace talks is still in order given the weight of the humanitarian crisis, whether or not that will happen, however, is uncertain.
Children are starving to death in Yemen, the NGO Save the Children has estimated that in 2017, more than 50,000 children died from cholera and famine caused by Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign and naval blockade against the country, a further 8 million Yemenis are near starvation.
The media coverage on Yemen has been sporadic at best, only capturing the global audience’s attention with brief flashes of the atrocities befalling the civilians of the country, the past four years have brought down a biblical hellfire of sorts on the people of Yemen in the form famine, cholera, and seemingly aimless civilian bombings with no end in sight.
The inconclusive results of the ceasefire are supplemented by hundreds of accusatory statements from party to party about alleged ceasefire breaches but no full halt on wartime activities, it is the consensus of international human rights groups that there has been no international outcry with enough consensus to actually implore the two groups to reach an agreement.
It seems likely that the rise of right-wing politics around the world, including in the Trump administration, that regularly uses language dehumanizing its opponents has made the Saudi murder for Yemenis far easier, rather than focusing on the sensational tabloid fodder of Trump’s scandals, the newsmedia would more effectively reveal the bankruptcy of this brand of politics by reporting this crisis and stressing the humanity of its victims.
Written by Mona Zaid